Rubber Fat and Training

Each morning that I show up for a training session, I find myself staring at this lovely pair of rubber fat and muscle reproductions. I suspect someone somewhere thought used properly these would inspire me to work harder. Not at all, in fact these do nothing but inspire me to create X-rated pictures. Great globules of fake fat are not inspiring rubber muscle does not enthuse.

These are toys they leave us to play with after our workout, which is something to look forward to though. As we stand there, sweating glistening we can poke at the deep pocked (gad they even gave it cellulite) rubber fat dreaming of the day we will no longer have so much of it. We can stroke lovingly the deep red dense fake muscle and pretend someday we will have some, or even that we have some underneath our fat. I think the trainers at my gym leave these out not as demonstration models but rather so their clients can de-stress after workouts, so we can bounce, poke, prod and even tear a little. The result of my imaginative poking is this.


That piece of paper is my days workout.

I have a fantastic trainer, though I often picture her in leather thigh high boots, a bustier with whip in hand (no this isn’t a twisted fantasy you have not discovered my dark secrets). My trainer has a great understanding of my limitations and works with me to find balance between my great desire not to re-injure and my need to get healthy. She is also a fantastic listener, I get a twofer with her, “move your ass” and girl-talk. Joellen (what a great joellen_2name, right) understands when I say, “I can’t do that”; I am not whining I am actually saying something within my injured body is not going to allow me to do what she is asking. I love this about her!

My trainer is like me, not quite normal on the social spectrum. She isn’t what you expect; her hair is like mine all spikey and unanticipated. She wears unmatched shoes, everyday it isn’t an accident. She isn’t bouncy; she doesn’t wear make-up to the gym (thank you). She has a brain between her ears (not saying this is like me only mentioning it). She doesn’t take herself too seriously but she has a very serious side and focus on a future beyond what she is doing today, right now. She is health conscious, diet conscious and can discuss with great insight and knowledge how our bodies work. I really appreciate this about her, it makes me trust her. What I like most, honestly and I hope if she reads this she isn’t offended, she is imperfect. In her imperfection, with her injuries that she has had to recover from she gives me and I am certain her other clients hope.

Right now I can get myself to the gym at least two mornings a week because (1) I pay her to make certain I move my muscles the right way and (2) I look forward to talking to her. We have agreed I don’t do squats (this is what you do in the woods when there are no public restrooms available) I do Plié or even Grand Plié, but I do not squat.


I suspect she thinks the things that sometimes come out of my mouth are a bit odd; she just goes with it this is another thing I like about her. My guess is she knows I don’t like facing mirrors, ever. I find the entire sweating glistening, weight lifting, Plié and other for health reasons things we do at the gym quite undignified. There is nothing attractive about it. There is especially nothing attractive if you are zaftig.

I know I need to do more, I feel the difference she is helping me make in my health. Despite pornographic rubber fat at the trainer’s desk and the honest truth I find nothing wonderful in sweating I know I have to do this for me. Thankfully I have help along the way!


  1. Makeup to the gym is preposterous. . . I usually look like a hobo at the gym.

  2. Good for you, Val! I’ve really been slacking off at the gym. Maybe what I need is a trainer (with or without bustier and whip.) Keep it up – you’re inspiring me.

  3. Val doing it for you! is ALL that counts… and Good-on-ya! too… I recently started to see a spare tyre around my midriff region, some call it the middle age spread!..;-) well I have never experienced weight-gain until the last 12 months and it seems to have congregated all in one spot! So a while back I joined a Zumba Dance class which us over 50’s joined in their GOLD class… lol.. well laugh.. you should see us all getting our steps mixed up.. but much fun… and we can practice at home behind closed doors when no one is watching us as we ‘Bounce Baby’ with the Latin american music.. LOL!!! 🙂

    So WELL DONE YOU!!! and just so you have an image of a Dreamwalker bouncing! away… here is a little of a similar routine we do… Phew.. Im exhausted! now just from watching.. 🙂 😀 … much love and Hugs to you Val!! ~Sue

  4. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    What, no photo of your trainer IN those high boots & bustier 😉

    Love this one Valentine as I didn’t even know you go to the gym. I guess we’ve all got to do this, or that… At this stage in my life, I just fell like resting. I have a sense of I don’t want to diet, my bulimia and starvation were enough painfulness re food to me / I don’t want to go to the gym, my years of walking and swimming to exhaustion were enough….

    But then when I do yoga and a jog, I feel pretty good, and cope better. So it’s worth it. You sound fit healthy & well to me 🙂

    • Hardly fit or healthy right now but getting there, trying anyway. I do feel better, I do. But it is a slog for me.

      I wish I could find gentle yoga, so far no luck.

      • WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

        Valentine, I do a HOT class yoga – that’s why I love it. I love saunas, heat…

        You walk in and the room is about 28 degrees. THEN you work it. Love it, but sometimes I feel backbroken with fatigue & I think ‘I’ve been in an office all day – WHY am I so tired/broken???’ I mean, I’d understand it with what you’re into, but yoga!

  5. Wow, you even have a trainer! You go girl!! 🙂 Glad you are getting healthy x

  6. Val,
    I’m impressed that you have a trainer. I love that she is wears different kinds of shoes and NO makeup! Xx

  7. When I found out that eating healthy, exercising, drinking lots of water getting adequate rest and managing stress added years to your life ….. I quit! LOL

  8. I really admire you for taking your exercise seriously… I always hated physical exercise from the age of five! IF there was some point to it, like playing tennis, swimming or walking the dog, OK, but simply doing exercises bores me to death… which is a good reason for not doing it!!!!

    • I also always hated exercise for the simple sake of it. But it helps with pain management and there are simply things I cannot do without it. So, well I just buckle down and do it.

  9. This is awesome, and I’m so happy to meet (so-to-speak) your trainer. The right trainer in anything is so important, and I think we find it when the balance synchronizes between what we need and what we can actually do! I find this with my horse trainer…she knows the difference between training a bustling teenager who has completely endless and untainted energy and training an almost 40-something SWM who’s completely exhausted but still wants to reap the benefits of a ride. Love you, and congrats on finding the right blend! I also love Joellen’s name. There should be more “Joellen’s” in this world!! XOXO-Kasey

  10. Well done Val and Joellen. Can we clone her?

  11. If you have leather thigh-high boots and a bustier to match, please take pix of yourself in them and share! Maybe we can set up a play party, since I have a slew of electronic devices. I’ll even bring wine coolers and nachos.

  12. I just very proud of you for sticking with it. When we get stronger, all of us gets stronger as well. Joellen is doing a great job of strengthening your mind as you strengthen your body.

    • You, only you know how much I whine and complain some mornings. Only you know how much I don’t want to go.

      It helps though, at the end of the day Jo and her gentle nudge toward something better it helps.

      Thank you my sister.

  13. So glad there are real-person, supportive trainers like Joellen. She sounds truly great, especially because she listens to you and respects you. We all have limitations and it is so validating when they are acknowledged and worked with. A consistent two morning a week routine is admirable. (I know whenever my workouts exceed my tolerance, I will stop them.:) ) Plie away!

    • I am at the stage where I am ready for something more, but am searching for the next thing to add that won’t immediately stress my body. I have big dreams and big limitations. I think it will be swiming but we will see. Unfortunately the gym I belong to doesn’t really cater to people like me, I just got very fortunate with Jo.

  14. Val, coming from someone who is currently not doing any exercise at all, I think that your post was very moving.

    You are doing something to improve yourself and/or make yourself feel better. What you are doing at the gym is something that will at years to your life, and It will also inspire others to do likewise, like me.

    Val, My father passed at the age of 54. He did not worry about his health. I have been telling myself the worst thing anyone in my position could be told about their health. I have been telling myself “Tom, You have plenty of time.” I want to be here for my step-son and I don’t want my wife to be a widow because I was to lazy to give a shit about my own life. I don’t want my son to have to tell his kids stories about who I was. I want to tell them. I don’t want you Val, to be deprived of the benefit of my council that I execute flawlessly, through the things that I write. Who would want to live in a world without Tom Nardone?

    So beginning today when I get home from work I will be doing my workout program that I have on my Xbox Kinect.

    Thank you for this post Val. I think what you are doing is very dignified.

    • I am the insidious trainer. I just want to say people like Val are the reason I get up every day at the crack of dawn to do my job!! I get to help people and surround myself by beautiful strong women which gives me joy and a sense of purpose (especially when I make them glisten) 🙂

    • Rock on Tom!

    • Tom if my ventures into health inspire you I am glad, you are so right. What would you wife, your son (step or otherwise) do without you? I am only now getting to know you through your writing and already consider you friend, so yes I certainly want you to stick around. Get after it!

      • Val 13 months ago I started blogging. I always thought bogging was about writing and getting traffic. One thing I have learned from being on the .com side of WordPress is that it is not at all about that. I have learned that is just about people. Writing is simply our way of telling people who we are. You are damn right we are freinds. I cant tell you how excited I get When I see your name show up on my notifier. I am glad we met Val.

  15. Squats are something I definitely swear by, It’s a full body work out in itself. Cheers Valentine! ^_^

  16. Gray Dawster says:

    You already have the determination Val so I am expecting wicked and great things from you in the coming weeks and months, oh yes getting fitter and naughtier, I mean healthier needs time to adjust but what of the results? Well you can expect lots of delicious after treats with lashings of thought induced powers to keep you wanting more, you know, those wickedly thought out notions that get you all… Never mind… Just keep up the good work-outs and enjoy the pain 🙂 😉

    Oh and don’t forget to post your wicked results afterwards either, including all the necessary photographs and anything else that you wish to share with us, including the bustier wearing slave driver with delightful sounding thigh high boots, well I only said 😉 lol

    Only kidding Val, and do have a
    lovely Saturday my great friend 🙂 xxxx

    • There well only be pictures in very dignified poses! You know you are very bad.

      • Gray Dawster says:

        Yes Val I know I am, and everyone keeps telling me how wicked I can be but underneath I am gentle as a lamb and innocent pussycats, honest 🙂 😉 lmao

        Have a lovely weekend and
        don’t be training too hard okay? 🙂

        BTW – I will look
        forward to the snaps 😉

        Andro xxxx

  17. Bless you, Valentine. I know how hard it is to exercise and sweat…er…I mean, glisten. I hate being hot. I can’t stand being hot. I try not to glisten because I am hot.

    More power to you. Nice you found such a well-matched trainer.

    • Glistening isn’t to bad, if it is for a good cause. I will someday love the results. Not every day I suspect but someday.

      Well matched, yes that is a good phrase.

  18. I wish you all the best with your workout regime, Val.

    Peace, Eric

  19. I commend you for sticking with your exercise program. I’m sure with your chronic pain, it’s sometimes a real challenge. What a great example you set for others. And I agree, your trainer sounds great. (By the way, love that you worked the word ‘zaftig’ in again. 🙂 )

    • I love that word, refuse to use any other except as shock value.

      Joellen is fantastic. She has recovered from her own injuries so she is the perfect trainer for me. She is also funny and somewhat similar to me in personality so she doesn’t get on my last nerve so early in the morning, important I think.

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